Will this mean that Microsoft can really compete with Firefox and Chrome? Well that really remains to be see, but we do expect them to make some rather big changes in Windows 10 based on some information we have about Microsoft’s direction for their flagship OS. Still there are issues with this move as we have seen in the past as Microsoft has tried to move people in a direction they want. For those of you that remember the early days of the x86-64 era Microsoft tried to split their browser into two versions and that created some consumer confusion as well as more than a few development glitches. Most of these are gone now, but even in Windows 8.1 you can still find both browsers.
This little fact raises an interesting question: will we end up with four browsers in Windows 10? If Microsoft has been unable to effectively combine the x64 and x86 versions of IE what will they do now that the Trident render engine is split in two? I am sure I am not the only one that thinks having four versions of IE is a tad ridiculous. The only thing we can hope is that Microsoft will finally combine IE into a single code base (x64) and then split the Trident engine so that you have one code base to develop on moving forward.
Despite the advantages here it might also have some pretty big cons, Microsoft has banked on ActiveX and other non-standard technologies for a long time and now will have to go through the headache of convincing people to move away from these plug-ins and features (including their own developers). Instead of getting people to use their new and stripped down browser they would end up pushing people right out to the competition. This means they have to do some quick footwork to get tools and support to developers and keep consumers interested. This type of thing is not Microsoft’s strong suit as we have seen repeatedly in the past.
In the end this might be a little more than Microsoft can handle so we could very well end up with IE having multiple personality disorder (which is part of its current problem). Of course this is all rumor at the moment and no matter how good it sounds (or how much it is needed) would could end up with the same old IE issues in Windows 10. We do hope that Microsoft is moving in this direction and that they finally settle on a code base (oh yeah and make the faster one default)... you know while we are at it we might as well wish for a pony…
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